If you didn’t catch my introduction post to this company, Raw Spice Bar is a monthly spice subscription service. For $6/month US, they send you 3 small high quality spice blends, and 3 corresponding recipes, featuring a different culture’s cuisine each month. Shipping is free, although it is VERY slow shipping to Canada; I didn’t get my April box until April 27th. This month featured spice blends inspired by Japanese cooking, in celebration of Spring’s cherry blossom festival.
The first blend was called “Shichimi Togarashi” which apparently translates to “seven flavour chile pepper”, and was a mix of chiles, black peppercorns, seaweed and orange peel. The recipe for this blend was Shichimi Togarashi Grilled Pork Tenderloin. This was a fairly easy and straight-forward recipe to make. It required quite a few ingredients I didn’t already have on hand, but nothing a quick stroll through the international isle at my grocery store couldn’t fix. The resulting pork was SO GOOD! I was seriously pleased with the result of this recipe, the only bad thing I could say is that I will probably never be able to remake it again!
The second blend was called “Spicy Gomasio” and was a mix of toasted black and white sesame seeds, sea salt and chiles. The recipe for this blend was Spicy Gomasio & Avacado Soba Noodles, which when paired with the grilled pork tenderloin made up the dinner portion of the meal. This recipe was also fairly easy to make, but I had some difficulty finding the soba noodles required for it. I am not a fan of avocado, so I chose to omit it when I cooked the dish. I didn’t hate the noodles, but I wasn’t really a fan either. My boyfriend enjoyed them more than I did.
The third and final blend was called “Matcha and Chia” and was a mix of ground toasted chia seeds and matcha mochi. I won’t lie, I don’t know what either of those are! The recipe for this blend was Matcha and Chia Mochi, which was meant to be the dessert for the meal. This recipe was super easy to whip up, but I had a terrible time locating rice flour for it. I had to go to multiple grocery stores in order to track it down. Neither my boyfriend or myself liked this dessert, both the texture and the taste were pretty gross. I don’t know if I made it wrong, because my final product looked nothing like the pictures on the website. The recipe seemed pretty straight-forward, so I am not sure were I went wrong.
All in all, I am pretty happy with my Japanese April spice box. It was a little frustrating trying to track down a couple of ingredients, but the recipe’s were all very simple and straight-forward to cook. The dessert was a bit of a dud, however the amazing pork tenderloin made up for it! I originally signed up for this service as a way to try out new foods and get out of my cooking comfort zone, which I definitely am so far. If you would like to try out Raw Spice Bar for yourself, click here. Just another warning to all my fellow Canadian’s however, shipping to Canada is very slow! Don’t be expecting to see your box until the end of the month. If you are already signed up for Raw Spice Bar, I would love to hear your thoughts on it!